All posts tagged Rejection

Back to School!

Well, it's that time of year–yep, it's back to school for the kids. Summer is over and now it's back to the books and lessons.

I'll bet you've never thought about how salespeople have to study their 'lessons' as well–but they do.

In fact, every sales call a salesperson makes will result in one of four outcomes:

          1)  a yes
          2)  a no
          3)  a time-based future event
          4)  a lesson

Focusing on #4, a guiding principle for salespeople is this:  They will make more sales (and more money) from a sale they didn't get …and know why, than from a sale they did get…and don't know why. So they should celebrate the lost sales because those are the ones that will help them be more successful in the future.

Why? Because if a salesperson learns what not to do in the sales process–they didn't ask enough questions,didn't ask the right questions, didn't listen effectively, failed to push back at the right time, chose not to challenge what the prospect told them in an appropriate manner, etc.–the next time they find themselves in a similiar situation, they'll perform more effectively because they've learned what doesn't work.

There is a second, and maybe even more important reason to take a lesson from a lost sale. One of the biggest challenges for salespeople is dealing with rejection.

They encounter it every day. Rejection looks like:

          -Prospects who don't want to take their call
          -Prospects who don't want to meet with them
          -Prospects who don't call them call them back 
          -Prospects who tell them 'no'

And the key point is not if salespeople will run into rejection but when…and how  they will react. Will they recover and how quickly can they do that? Taking a positive (a lesson) from a negative event will help a salesperson recover better and faster from being rejected.

Here's the takeaway for sales leaders and salespeople. At the end of a sales process, the question for sales leaders and salespeople to ask themselves is this:  "What's the biggest lesson you (or I) learned from this sale?" I use the word 'biggest' because there will probably be multiple lessons to be learned. Start with the lesson that's most impactful and work your way down the list. How can those lessons be applied for upcoming sales meetings? And don't forget to stroke (verbally) your salesperson for the good things they did. This will reinforce those behaviors and ensure they're repeated in the future.


The Bounce Back Factor

Maybe you know the following quote by Robert Frost, the poet. It's one of my favorites.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."

I like these words for the insight they seem to offer. That no matter the ups and downs that we encounter daily, life goes on and we should stay in the moment and enjoy every minute. Of course, that's my interpretation.

I also like how you can apply the principle of 'life goes on' to the sales profession. High-performing salespeople succeed every day. They also fail every day but what helps them recover from their losses quickly is their mindset. High-performers believe that a 'no sale' is an opportunity to learn from a negative experience, take a lesson and turn it into a positive experience that will help them execute more effectively in the future. They bounce back fast and are ready for the next sales call.

When an average performing salesperson gets a 'no' they dwell on it. They make excuses for not getting the sale. Soon their sales effort is dead in the water. Their inability to recover from rejection quickly has sabotaged them again.

Want to improve your (or your sales team's) ability to recover from rejection? Here are two things to do immediately:

1) Begin working on increasing the the size of your sales pipeline and the number of qualified prospects in it. Knowing that you have other opportunities to work on if you get a 'no' from any prospect is a great confidence booster and will help you maintain your selling behavior momentum.

2) Change your view of what rejection or a failure to get the sale really means. It doesn't mean you look around for external reasons that justify the outcome. Getting a 'no' allows you an opportunity to take a lesson–for example, drilling down further into the prospect's budget issues to determine whether they truly qualify for your offering. Turn the negative experience into a positive one and bounce back quicker.

Making these changes will result in a more productive, effective, efficient sales effort.

And remember, life goes on. Go live it!

Page 1 of 1